An Iranian Canadian award winning international human rights activist, singer/songwriter, actor, former Miss World Canada and President and co-founder of “Stop Child Executions” organization, Nazanin completed a double major degree in International Relations and Political Science at UBC, Sciences Po in Paris and the ISC in the UK and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Diplomacy at Norwich University. Through her presentations at the United Nations, Universities and Governments, Nazanin hopes to continue being a “voice for the voiceless” delivering her messages of freedom, peace and love worldwide.
Jack directs the largest dinosaur field research program in the world. Best known for his role in discovering the first evidence of dinosaur herds, and the world’s first dinosaur embryos, Jack has named several new species of dinosaurs including Maiasaura. He has published nine popular books, and nearly 300 professional papers and articles. His book Digging Dinosaurs was described by New Scientist Magazine as one of the 250 most important science books of the 20th Century. He was the technical advisor for Steven Spielberg on all of the Jurassic Park movies, and has worked with National Geographic, and The Discovery Channel on numerous dinosaur specials. Jack is the Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies, and Regent’s Professor of Paleontology at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. He is also a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Paleobiology at the Smithsonian Institution, and an Honorary Research Fellow with the Natural History Museum in London.
Deemed one of Canada’s national treasures, pop culture historian, Nardwuar the Human Serviette, is debatably one of the most original and respected journalists of our time. He is an undoubtedly proud Canadian and Vancouverite who through hard work and fearless determination has developed a unique connection to pop culture, politics and the music industry. In addition to his work in the media, he is also a singer and keyboardist in the popular band the Evaporators. In his career as a journalist he has interviewed porn stars, former presidents and prime ministers and gangsta rappers. While many believe he is playing a character in public, Nardwuar has proven that he is an authentically excitable and enthusiastic personality who should not be underestimated.
As the Director of GASLAND, a film about the largest onshore natural gas drilling campaign in US History, Josh has been awarded the 2010 Special Jury Prize for Documentary by the Sundance Film Festival. Among numerous other festival awards, GASLAND was also awarded the best documentary of 2010 by the Environmental Media Association and as a result of Josh’s activism and campaigning on the issue of gas drilling Josh was awarded the 2010 Lennon Ono Grant for Peace by Yoko Ono in a ceremony on John Lennon’s 70th birthday in Reykjavik Iceland this October. Josh is the founder and artistic director of the International WOW Company and has written/directed/produced two feature films and over twenty works for the stage. His narrative feature film debut MEMORIAL DAY (2008), is a jarring roller coaster ride from the beaches of girls-gone-wild spring break to the torture chambers of Abu Ghraib, premiered at CineVegas Film Festival and went on to have a successful limited run at IFC Center in New York. His recent work for the stage includes SURRENDER, an interactive war epic premiering in New York City, which was nominated for a 2009 Drama Desk Award and AUTO DA FE, which premiered in New York and will tour to Japan in 2011. All of Josh’s work is produced and created with the award winning International WOW Company, a theater and film group with membership of over 100 actors, dancers, musicians, technical, and visual artists spanning 30 countries on 4 continents. The New York Times hailed him as “one of the most adventurous impresarios of the New York avant-garde” and Time Out NY called him “one of downtown’s most audacious auteurs,” citing his “brilliantly resourceful mastery of stagecraft.” Josh earned his BA from Columbia University.
Michael Green is a founding principal at Vancouver’s McFarlane Green Biggar Architecture + Design (mgb). Recognized for his award winning buildings, public art, interiors, landscapes and urban environments, Michael’s reputation has led him to develop a wide range of projects from international airports and skyscrapers to Vancouver’s Ronald McDonald House and modest but unique retail spaces and homes. His work extends around the globe including a current project for the Aga Khan Trust for Culture designing a sustainable community in the mountains of Central Asia.
Michael is dedicated to bringing attention to several of the overwhelming challenges in architecture today. The first is climate change and how the built environment is an enormous contributor to the factors damaging the very environment designers and architects are seeking to improve. The second, is the profound reality that over the next 20 years, 3 billion people, or 40% of the world, will need a new affordable home. In short, solving the world’s massive shelter shortage with today’s building approaches will ironically trigger further environmental turmoil. Michael believes in championing the shift to new ways of building that will compliment the intersection of man’s greatest building challenges.
Greg Power is President and General Manager of the Canadian operations of world leading public relations agency Weber Shandwick. Throughout his 30 year career in communications, Greg has been fascinated by the challenge of building the bridge between a message and an audience. He has been a journalist, a client and an agency leader and understands the needs of each role and how they can best work together. In addition to his management duties, he provides leadership and strategic counsel for a wide variety of Canadian clients with an emphasis on strategic message development and storytelling. Before joining Weber Shandwick, Greg was the SVP and General Manager of Optimum PR at Cossette, and prior to that, he spent six years at Edelman Canada where as Deputy General Manager he led the consumer, technology and interactive practices. He has held senior positions at Hill & Knowlton and Rapp Collins Worldwide, managed corporate communications for Avon Canada, and produced broadcast documentaries as a freelance reporter for Radio Canada International and CBC Radio.
Fiona Rayher – is a media producer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Communications from Simon Fraser University, she has been involved with social justice activism for several years and is particularly inspired by democracy through new media. Most recently, Fiona has worked with Development and Peace (CCODP) in Toronto and the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) in Vancouver. She has made three documentaries and hopes to pursue new media production as a means to create community and social change.
Tara Mahoney – believes a positive message makes all the difference. Inspired by the pessimism that plagues mainstream media, Tara aspires to use media as a positive cultural unifier. With experience as a documentary filmmaker and a Masters degree in media production from Ryerson University, Tara is determined to make a case for collective optimism using peer-production and media collaboration. Along with Fiona Rayher, Tara is developing the Gen Why Media Project as a characterization of the underrepresented zeitgeist of youth culture.
Yael Cohen runs a cancer charity that she founded in 2009 when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Astounded to learn that over 90% of cancers are curable in stage one, Cohen realized that early detection is our only cure right now and that we should be looking for cancer instead of just finding it. Her charity targets Generation Y in an effort to engage them in the important dialogue about early detection; with a clear call to action to involve, engage, and educate their parents. The movement aims to create a generation that puts an END to late stage cancer diagnosis.
Jeet-Kei Leung (aka dj Mazeguider) has been a key creator in the Vancouver’s intentional dance and transformational festival community since 1998, as an event organizer, community builder, cultural philosopher, music producer, DJ, workshop presenter, council facilitator, dancer and explorer. He is the founder of Intention, a 5-day New Years Festival & Retreat, celebrating its 12th anniversary this winter. Jeet-Kei works during the day as the communications coordinator/spokesperson for the BC Compassion Club Society, a non-profit collective operating Canada`s oldest & largest medicinal cannabis dispensary and an adjoining wellness centre. Jeet-Kei is currently writing a book on Transformational Festivals, with the working title “Dancing Together into The Great Shift: Transformational Festivals & The New Evolutionary Culture”.
Nicholas Molnar is a Web Strategist at Thirdi Software. He believes that the Internet isn’t a force for social good, but the people on it just might be. He is experimenting with using social games – and the power of community – to make people live longer.